For the past couple of years, vacant and derelict sites throughout the central city of Christchurch have been cleaned, planted with succulents, wilds have been kept and catalogued, and labeled by ‘Plant Gang’. These clandestine interventions are the work of guerrilla gardener Liv Worsnop. As sculptural interventions in public space they reveal her sensitivity to place, celebrating the subtle, quiet qualities of current conditions. There is no mourning for the buildings that once stood on these sites, or speculation on potential future developments; instead Worsnop focuses on what endures in the present moment and on understanding the behavior of naturally occurring things. The environment is part of her drawing process. The creation of these non-spaces encourages reflection on the small survivors, embracing and enhancing the here and now.
With the onset of winter, the climate produces a dormant time for many plants, an opportunity in the cycle to hibernate, replenish, take stock and prepare. In The Periphery State Worsnop brings her sculptural practice into the gallery, using the time and space of the exhibition to further her awareness of natural materials and processes. Working with found objects and organic matter, Worsnop experiments with the various potential states of substances, drawing on their properties as liquescent, dust, or unseen essences and how things develop or change in different combinations and circumstances. Creating interactions to develop an organic relationship with the environment, there is an aspect of alchemy to her work, and a consideration of our own physical properties and interrelationships. Worsnop establishes situations and then lets things occur, inviting observation of the delicate and nuanced shifts across time and space.